World Population Trends and Their Impact on Economic Development

By Dominick Salvatore | Go to book overview
in Portugal, the real income per capita would have been significantly lower by about 20 percent, and the unemployment rate might have been about 6 percent instead of the actual 5 percent;
in Spain, the real income per capita would have been smaller by about 10 percent, and the unemployment rate might have been lower and reached about 10 percent instead of 7 percent;
in Turkey, the real income per capita would have been smaller by about 10 percent, while the unemployment rate might not have changed much and reached a level of about 12 percent.

In summary, we suggest that, according to our data and results, migration has not negatively affected the development of the Southern European countries of migrants' origin, but it has stimulated the economic development of these countries (measured in terms of real income per capita and the unemployment rate in the home country).


CONCLUSIONS

In testing our simultaneous-equations model empirically, we have applied it to the migration flows from the Southern European countries Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey to the EC-destination countries Germany and France. From the outcome of this application, we learn that a composite attractivity index, as it has been used in the context of the Todaro model for internal migration, is a very powerful explanatory variable also in the case of international labor migration. Todaro's basic idea that the ratio between the real income per capita abroad and at home, weighted by the probability of obtaining a higher- paying job abroad, is an important determinant of migration flows acquired some empirical evidence. Formulated in slightly modified form (to reflect the fact that European migration flows were demand-determined), the migration equation based on Todaro's idea explained the European migration patterns well.

It also turned out that the immigration control systems of the EC-destination countries have closely followed economic lines, drawn by the domestic demand for foreign labor. The strictness of the immigration restrictions were inversely related to the domestic labor surplus. The higher the unemployment rate in the EC-destination countries (and the more restrictive, therefore, their immigration control systems), the less immigrants have been admitted and the more foreign workers have been sent back.

Contrary to our expectation, the job turnover in the destination country (proxied in our model by the labor force employed in the industrialized sector of the destination country) did not determine the migration patterns. Because these variables were statistically significant in most of the internal migration models that were using a job turnover approach, further research is indicated before we may reject the validity of such an approach in the case of international labor migration.

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